Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: TRIP (10/18/18)
TITLE: The Big Stumble
By Bonnie Kronberger
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It seems that sin and my fall are very similar. It can begin when we aren’t paying attention. A stumble, a fall, then pain and shame, and the realization that consequences will follow.
I don’t think about my sin too often. I’m an old woman now, and many sins which plagued me when I was younger hold no appeal to me now. My relationship with Jesus makes me want to live holy. I try to pay attention to where I‘m walking, so I don’t take a fall.
When I pray about my sin, I ask for forgiveness, believing God's Word. If we confess our sin, He forgives our sin and cleans us up (1 John 1:9). What an undeserved gift. The blood of Jesus Christ covers it. But I have become aware that many times I ask forgiveness for my sins, as though they are generic, not even thinking what they are. I fail to ask God to search me and show me my wicked ways (Psalm 139:23,24). If I skip that step, I just continue on with my sinful habits, not even seeing my sin.
I search, but nothing comes to mind immediately. I didn’t kill, steal, or bear false witness. Or did I?
Half truths, judgments, and sins of omission beset me, tempting me to trip and fall. Sharing confidences that aren’t mine to share, spreading juicy gossip. All these sins loom their ugly head when I speak out of turn. I frequently think too highly of my own opinions. Splat, flat on my face.
When the house painter offered me a discounted price to write out the check in his name, instead of his business, I was tempted. But I said no. I relayed this incident with friends, and now I recognize the sin of pride as I boasted of my victory. Whoops, a stumble.
It was only a few weeks later a different workman slipped a card in front of me as I was writing his check. Make it out to this name he told me. I complied, but had a suspicion it wasn’t right. Ouch, another misstep.
I don’t worship idols, or do I?
Food, a love that claims me, beckons 24/7, seducing me with an imagined satisfaction. When the gluttony has made it impossible to eat another bite, that’s when I face the consequence of my choices; gastric disturbances, love handles that increase daily, and an awareness of what I am doing to my fleshly temple where my Lord desires to dwell. Yikes, I am about to topple.
God is not surprised that we get tripped up.
James 3:2 states, “For we all stumble in many ways…”
1 Peter 2:8 tells us why. “...for they stumble because they are disobedient to the Word.”
God is always ready and eager for us to come to Him in repentance.
“...cleanse me from my sin. Have mercy on me, O God. Create in me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. ...You will not despise a broken and contrite heart. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.” (taken from Psalm 51)
The joy of restored fellowship, free from the burden of unconfessed sin, is overpoweringly beautiful. I am being reminded to keep my eyes wide open, aware of my surroundings and leanings, so as to not stumble and lose my footing. I desire to live upright and innocent with both feet planted firmly in the truth of God’s Word.
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